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The retirement village as a residential environment for the Third Age : the example of Firhall, Scotland

Pacione, Michael (2012) The retirement village as a residential environment for the Third Age : the example of Firhall, Scotland. Scottish Geographical Journal, 128 (2). pp. 148-168.

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Retirement villages represent a recent addition to the range of residential options for older people in the UK. Research has focused on the development and nature of retirement housing in the public and voluntary sectors in England. Limited attention has been directed to the private retirement communities and, in particular, to the lived experience of residents in private sector retirement villages. This research, which is the first study of a private retirement village in Scotland, overcomes this information deficit by identifying the nature and growth of private retirement villages in the UK and exploring the lived experience of residents of the private retirement village of Firhall. The discussion is organised into four main parts. Part I examines the concept of the retirement village. Part II explains the growth and geography of retirement villages in the UK. Part III comprises the empirical analysis of the case study retirement village. The research identifies the social, economic and demographic characteristics of the village population and provides insight into lived experience of the residents in the study village. Finally, in part IV, the discussion identifies a number of key issues for further research, and the potential contribution of retirement villages for meeting the needs and preferences of the growing third age population of the UK.